After the Russian blockade cut off all access to the city of Berlin during WWII, an American Air Force pilot made headlines when he dropped packages of sweets for Berlin's children along with basic supplies in 1948.
More than 50 years later, a group from Illinois is making headlines after dropping packages of Halloween sweets over a city that is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.
After reading the story of Col. Gail Halvorsen's chocolate drops in "Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot," John Mangel, owner of the Long Grove Confectionery Company of Buffalo Grove, Ill., couldn't resist collaborating with the book's publisher to offer Halloween treats to Gulf Coast children who no longer have neighborhoods for trick-or-treating.
On Monday morning, Halvorsen was in Mississippi as Halloween treats filled the skies over the interim tent school in Bay St. Louis.
"You have no idea what this will do for the children," said Rebecca Ladner, principal of Waveland Elementary. "They are starving for interaction with others."
Two fifth-grade classes from Fairview Elementary School in Mount Prospect, Ill., created parachutes and attached the chocolates for the drop. Each student in Bay Saint Louis also received a book from Sleeping Bear Press to help rebuild their lost personal libraries.
Back in the Pass
Bay Saint Louis is a neighboring town of Pass Christian, Miss., where "Good Morning America" is assisting in the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
"GMA" anchor Robin Roberts was back in her hometown of Pass Christian this weekend to celebrate Halloween with children whose families are still digging out from the storm wreckage.
The celebration turned out to be the largest since the storm splintered Pass Christian's neighborhoods and was complete with donated costumes, pinantas, a cake eating contest and a big inflatable slide.
"There's really no Halloween for these kids so something like this is great," said one Pass Christian mother.
"It's a great feeling to see the smile on the kids' faces out there," said Brian Thomas, Wal-Mart district manager. "That is what this is all about."
Wal-Mart donated costumes to the children.
More to be Done
Schools in Pass Christian have reopened thanks in part to help from "GMA." But in neighboring Bay Saint Louis, children are still being taught in temporary tents manned by volunteers.
The loss of school buildings and supplies in Bay Saint Louis is estimated at $30 million and 90 percent of the teachers and administrators have lost their homes.
Currently, about 80 students attend the temporary school daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but the normal enrollment for the district is 2,350. School administrators do not know where they students have gone, but believe most have relocated.
Bay Saint Louis is hoping to officially reopen school on Nov. 7. The teachers return tomorrow.